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Cross-Complaint and Summons Time Conflict and How to Serve

Fremont, CA |

I filed a motion to leave cross complaint and it was granted and the ruling says that the proposed cross-complaint is effective from the date of ruling. But I just found that the cross-complaint needs a summons and it's been over a week from the court ruling. So if I file the summons now, is there any problem? When is the cross-complaint considered filed then? From the day of the court ruling or from when the summons is filed?

Also how should I serve the summons? Can I serve just the summons or should I serve the cross-complaint again with the summons? Should the cross-complaint be served through personal service?

There is other cross-defendants other than the plaintiffs in the cross-complaint. Shall I just submit the summons on the new cross-defendants only? Should the cross-complaint itself be signed and served to the new cross-defendants with the new date with the summons? Should the cross-complaint be served with personal service?

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

You can have the clerk of the court issue a Summons on Cross-Complaint now. It is not a problem. The cross-complaint is still deemed filed from the date of the ruling. The Summons on Cross-Complaint is issued on the date you submit it to the clerk to be issued.

Other than parties who have already appeared in the lawsuit (such as the plaintiff), the Summons on Cross-Complaint AND Cross-Complaint must be personally served.

However, parties who have already appeared can be served by mail by serving their counsel of record.

Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.


Without seeing the original complaint and your cross-complaint, it's not possible to tell you with certainty what to do.

There is no problem with getting a summons issued now on the cross-complaint. It isn't 100% clear that you need one. If the only cross-defendants were the plaintiffs, then no summons is needed. In other words the summons (and subsequent service) is needed only if you have added cross-defendants who were previously not plaintiffs or who had not previously appeared in the case.

It may make sense to sit down with an experienced litigator, buy a block of his or her time, and have him or her help you through these procedural questions.

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